Since 1993 Agritest srl develops, produces and commercializes diagnostic kits for plant pathogens. Research and development projects are conducted under technology transfer agreements with the University of Bari, the National Council of Research (CNR), and the CHIEAM-BA, Italy. The diagnostic products are intended for assisting nursery industry and growers in pathogen-free certification programs and early quarantine inspections. Agritest diagnostics are based on serological and molecular methods, including assay quality controls:
- ELISA antibodies are raised against proteins derived from the pathogens collections of our scientific institutions partners;
- DNA probes or polyprobes are designed exploiting in-licensing patents and in-house patent pending technology;
- collection of infected plant tissues and pathogen recombinant proteins are maintained as for internal reference material to standardize the products.
The targeted served market is structured 50% national (Italy), 25% EU and 25% Extra EU.
ROLE IN THE PROJECT
Agritest project activities are related to the Xylella fastidiosa pathosystem, focused on the assessment of reliable diagnostic systems. Moreover, consistently with the scope of the project, Agritest will support training programs for testing laboratories.
a) Exploiting its manufacturing expertise, yet in collaboration with P1 and P2, Agritest will prepare analytical reagents suitable for immunoprinting methods and automated large scale Elisa. Agritest will evaluate the applicability of Elisa protocols to matrix other than olive: almond, citrus, grape, oleander. Moreover, Agritest will study the feasibility of Xylella fastidiosa reference material prepared as recombinant protein. Following up the evaluation of the improved diagnostic tools, Agritest will participate to the project validation programs aimed at delivering official diagnostic protocols to target Xylella fastidiosa.
b) Exploiting its marketing expertise, yet coordinated within the WP10 activities, Agritest will prepare a set of training tools (lab-manuals, guidelines, ready to use material) to support testing laboratories linked to the nursery industry.
AGRITEST will be involved in the following work packages: WP4, WP10